‘Kabuki Cabaret’ to Benefit Children in Ishinomaki


Brenda Wong Aoki

SANTA CRUZ — “Kabuki Cabaret,” a benefit for the children of Japan, will be held on Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St,, Santa Cruz.

Storyteller Brenda Wong Aoki and Emmy Award-winning composer Mark Izu will present a dramatic performance blending Japanese and Western instruments. Aoki’s hybrid of drama, modern dance, performance art, spoken word and jazz has garnered countless awards and international acclaim.

Aoki and Izu have presented such shows as “Mermaid Meat,” “The Legend of Morning Glory,” and “Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend.” They are co-artistic directors of First Voice (www.aokizu.com/first-voice), which performs “stories and music of people living between worlds.”

“Kabuki Cabaret” will also feature Grammy-nominated multi-percussionist Dr. Anthony Brown, natori koto master Shoko Hikage, Mas Koga, named best Latin jazz flutist of 2011, vocalist Moy Eng, and Janet Koike with PJ Hirabayashi on taiko.

Tickets are $20 in advance,  $23 at the door, and are available online at www.kuumbwajazz.org or by calling 1-866-55-TICKETS (558-4253).

For information on the club’s Thursday Night Local Chefs Dinner, visit the website.

Proceeds from this benefit concert go directly to the Jizo Project. In response to the tragedy at Okawa School in Ishinomaki, students, faculty and parents at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco established the Jizo Project to support the 500 remaining elementary and junior high school children in shelters around Okawa School as they re-establish their lives in the first three critical years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The Jizo Project’s goals:

2011: Friendship — introduction, needs assessment, direct aid.

2012: Service — to be determined in coordination with community leaders in Ishinomaki and Lick-Wilmerding High School students and staff.

2013: Union — Ishinomaki children come to San Francisco and visit their big sisters and big brothers at Lick-Wilmerding High School.

To make a donation, make checks out to “Lick-Wilmerding High School Tiger Fund” with “Jizo Project” on the memo line and send to Lick-Wilmerding High School, 755 Ocean Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112.

Contact: Dale Allender, Ph.D., executive director, Center for Civic Engagement, [email protected] or (510) 508-2859


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